KNOW THE NIGERIAN TRAFFICK OFFENCES AND ATTENDANT FINANCIAL PENALTIES

BY: MALACHY UGWUANYI

It is a common scene for a road user in Nigeria to sight Federal Road Safety Officials and attempt to avoid them totally or when caught by these officials end up thoroughly extorted. We believe that most times the problem is lack of knowledge of the regulations, laws or better still your rights as a Nigerian Road User. Below is a list of the Traffic offences you can commit under Nigerian Federal Road Jurisdiction and the attendant fees you must pay if you violate such.

 

OFFENCES                                          AMOUNT TO PAY IN NAIRA AS PENALTY        

1               LIGHT/SIGN VIOLATION                                    2,000    

2               ROAD OBSTRUCTION                                         3,000       

3               ROUTE VIOLATION                                             5,000       

4               SPEED LIMIT VIOLATION SLV                            3,000    

5               VEHICLE LICENCE VIOLATION                          3,000    

6               VEHICLE NUMBER PLATE VIOLATION              3,000    

7               DRIVER’S LICENCE VIOLATION                         10,000 

8               WRONGFUL OVERTAKING                                 3,000    

9               ROAD MARKING VIOLATION                              5,000    

10            CAUTION SIGN VIOLATION                                  3,000    

11            DANGEROUS DRIVING     DGD                              50,000

12            DRIVING UNDER ALCOHOL OR DRUG INFLUENCE                   5,000    

13            OPERATING A VEHICLE WITH FORGED DOCUMENTS               20,000

14            UNAUTHORIZED REMOVAL OF OR TAMPERING WITH ROAD SIGNS                5,000    

15            DO NOT MOVE VIOLATION                                     2,000    

16            INADEQUATE CONSTRUCTION WARNING            50,000

17            CONSTRUCTION AREA SPEED LIMIT VIOLATION      CAV                                  3,000    

18            FAILURE TO MOVE OVER                                         3,000    

19            FAILURE TO COVER UNSTABLE MATERIALS                                                      5,000    

20            OVERLOADING   OVL                                              10,000

21            DRIVING WITH WORN-OUT TYRE OR WITHOUT SPARE TYRE                                                                                         3,000    

22            DRIVING WITHOUT OR WITH SHATTERED WINDSCREEN     VWV                                                                                         2,000    

23            FAILURE TO FIX RED FLAG ON PROJECTED LOAD                                        3,000    

24            FAILURE TO REPORT ROAD ACCIDENT                                                          20,000

25            MEDICAL PERSONNEL OR HOSPITAL REJECTION OF ROAD ACCIDENT VICTIM                                                                                      50,000

26            ASSAULTING MARSHAL ON DUTY                          10,000

27            OBSTRUCTING MARSHAL ON DUTY                        2,000    

28            ATTEMPTING TO CORRUPT MARSHAL                    10,000

29            CUSTODY FEE       N200 per day after 24 hours          –

30            DRIVING WITHOUT SPECIFIED FIRE EXTINGUISHER                                                    3,000    

31            DRIVING A COMMERCIAL WITHOUT PASSENGER MANIFEST                                 10,000 

32            DRIVING WITHOUT SEAT BELT       SUV                    2,000    

33            USE OF PHONE WHILE DRIVING   UPD                      4,000    

34            DRIVING A VEHICLE WHILE UNDER 18 YEARS           UDR        –                2,000    

35            RIDING MOTORCYCLE WITHOUT A CRASH HELMET                                                    2,000    

36            EXCESSIVE SMOKE EMISSION         ESE                     5,000    

37            MECHANICALLY DEFICIENT VEHICLE            MDV                                         5,000    

NOTE: Custody fee on impounded Motor vehicle and Motorcycle/Tricycle is N200.00 per day payable after initial 24 hours of grace.

UNMASKING THE NIGERIAN MONEY LAUDERING PROHIBITION ACT 2011 AND 2012 AS AMENDED

BY: MALACHY UGWUANYI

Money Laundering covers the concealment of the source, medium and destination of illicit money. The Knowledge of the key provisions of this act is pertinent as it affects the average Nigerian, Banks, companies and even foreign Investors. The crux of the amendment act is geared at providing for direct prohibition of terrorism financing and expands the scope of regulatory authorities to combat the twin pervasions of terrorism and money laundering.it is a calculated legislative attempt at combating the modus operandi of terrorism financing and matters connected there with

CARDINAL PROVISIONS

As we attempt to examine key provisions, we shall generally paraphrase.

Limitation on amount of cash not executed through financial institution

The act provides that no person or body corporate shall, except in a transaction executed through a licensed financial institution, make or accept cash payments of a sum exceeding N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira) or its equivalent in the case of an individual, or N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) or its equivalent in the case of a body corporate Any Financial Institution or Designated-Financial Institution that fails to comply with the above provision by making the appropriate compliance report to the regulatory authorities commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N250,000:00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) for an individual and not more than N1,000,000 (One Million Naira) for a body corporate, for each day that the contravention continues unabated[1]

Report of Foreign exchange transfer

To keep track, according to the law, any transfer to or from a foreign country of funds or securities in excess of US$10,000 (Ten Thousand United States Dollars) or its equivalent must be reported to the Central Bank of Nigeria ("CBN"), the Securities & Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission ("EFCC") within seven days from the date of the transfer transaction in question. The Report must indicate the names and addresses of the Sender, and of the Receiver of the funds or securities[2].

Customs declaration

A chain of reporting was also created under the act. Any transportation of cash or of any negotiable instrument in excess of US$10,000 or its equivalent by individuals in or out of Nigeria must be declared to the Nigeria Custom Service who in turn is obligated to report such declarations to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.  

Consequently, Any person who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to the Nigeria Custom Service in pursuance of Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to forfeit  the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than two (2) years, or to both the term of imprisonment and the forfeiture of the undeclared amount[3]

Know Your Customer Obligation

All financial institutions in Nigeria including all designated non-financial institutions like casinos, Car and Luxury goods distributors,  jewelers, Chartered Accountants, Audit Firms, Tax Practitioners, Clearing and Settlement agents, Legal Practitioners, Supermarkets, etc are required to unmask the identity of their customers and update all relevant information on the customers regularly.

Financial Institutions and designated non-financial institutions are also obligated to scrutinize all on-going transactions that they undertake on behalf of their customers by ensuring that their customers' transactions are matches with the business and risk profile of the customers.

Where the customer is a politically exposed person entrusted with performing a prominent public function, both within and outside Nigeria, the financial institution shall put in place for such a customer, an appropriate risk management system in addition to obtaining senior management approval to maintaining any business relationship with the public officer, in fact there is a new incumbent duty to document all transactions, conduct thorough due diligence and mitigate the risks of money laundering[4].

 

Declaration of Nature of business

A designated non-financial institution involved in the business of cash transactions shall before commencing business submit to the Federal Ministry of Commerce a declaration of the nature of its business along with subsequently submitting a returns register of all its cash transactions above the limited set out in the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

 Also, before any transaction involving a sum of US$1,000 or its equivalent, the designated non-financial institution must identify the customer by requiring him to fill a standard data form and have the customer submit copies of his or her international passport, driving license, national identity card or such other document bearing his or her photograph and or as may be prescribed by the Federal Ministry of Commerce.

A designated non-financial institution that fails to comply with the collation of customers data, and submit the returns requirements as above stated within seven days from the date of each relevant transaction, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N250,000:00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) for each day during which the offence continues unabated. In addition to the above-mentioned penalty, the offending party could also suffer a suspension or a revocation or a withdrawal of his or her or its operating license by the appropriate licensing authority, and as the circumstances of the offence may demand[5].

 

Surveillance of Suspicious Transactions

Transactions coated  with unusual and unjustifiable complexity, and that appears to have no economic justification or lawful objective, and that may involve financing or are inconsistent with the known pattern of the account or business relationship with a customer are required to the reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ("EFFC") immediately. It is the responsibility of financial institutions and designated non-financial institutions to take all appropriate action to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of a crime or any illegal activity. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with the Central Bank of Nigeria are authorised to, whenever they receive a report such as the one mentioned above, among other things, place a stop order not exceeding 72 hours on the account or transaction if it is suspected that such account is involved in the commission of a crime. This period could be extended where an application is made to the Federal High Court for such an extension. 

The Federal High Court also has power to order that the funds and the accounts or securities referred to in the financial or designated non-financial Institution's report should be block forthwith. Any institution that fails to comply with the above provisions commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N1,000,000:00 (One Million Naira) for each day during which the offence continues to be committed[6]

 

Power of Federal High Court on blockage of accounts

The Federal High Court also has power to order that the funds and the accounts or securities referred to in the financial or designated non-financial Institution's report should be block forthwith. Any institution that fails to comply with the above provisions commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N1,000,000:00 (One Million Naira) for each day during which the offence continues to be committed[7]

Duty to share records

Financial institutions and designatedNon financial institutions are expected to keep custody of customer data for at least5 years but there is an incumbent duty on them to make it available to the central bank, Economic and Financial Crimes Comission and other attendant law enforcement agencies from time to time as may be ordered in the gazette[8]

 

Special Anti-laundering programs

The financial and designated non-financial institutions must craft good internal measures to create awareness and internally check the level of compliance with the anti-money laundering provisions through trainings, establishment of audit units and compliance officers. Failure to do this attracts a punitive hammer of not less than N1, 000,000for capital brokerage and other financial institutions and N5,000,000 in the case of Bank in addition, suspend any license issued to the Financial Institution or Designated Non-Financial Institution[9]

 

 

Exemption from liability

The Directors, officers and employees of any financial institution or designated non-financial institution who complies with the provisions of this Act, in good faith, are not liable to having any civil or criminal proceedings bought against them by their customers for making a money laundering report[10].

 

Prohibition of hidden accounts

The opening and or maintaining of numbered or anonymous accounts  be it shell banks, or accounts in fictitious names by any person, financial institution or corporate body is prohibited by the act. Any individual or financial institution or corporate body that contravenes the above prohibition commits an offence in the case of an individual, a term of imprisonment of not less than 2 years but not more than 5 years; or  in the case of a financial institution or corporate body, a fine of not less than N10,000,000 but not more than N50,000,000, in addition to the prosecution of the principal officers of the corporate body, and the winding up and prohibition of its constitution or incorporation under any form or guise[11]

 

Bank secrecy not being a defence

"banking secrecy or the preservation of customer confidentiality shall not be invoked as a ground for objecting to the measures set out in sub-section (1) and (2) of this Section or for refusing to be a witness to facts likely to constitute an offence under this Act, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act or any other law”[12]

 

Ample Definition of Key Terms

Shell Banks’ is defined inter alia as a bank that is not physically operating in a country that it was registered.

Politically Exposed Persons” is defined as individuals entrusted with public functions by either a foreign government, domestic governments or international organizations.

Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit is also defined as the central unit responsible for receiving, analyzing, disseminating, to competent authorities financial information of suspects of potential financing of terrorism cum other criminal proceeds.

 

General Recommendations

The money laundering act from the above analysis is a comprehensive one. One notable thing about this act is that it has been a subject of many amendments, the most recent being the money laundering prohibition Amendment Act 2012. 

One notable misadventure in the act is the level of recognition accorded the Financial Intelligence unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes and Other Related Offences Commission. This unit was defined as a mere central unit of collecting and disseminating information.in line with international best practices and the golden provisions of the Convention on the suppression of Finance of terrorism 1999, this unit ought to be an independent body.

 It is a pity that this unit is reduced to a mere information collation center, the key element that is missing is independence.it is recommended that the legal frameworks on anti-terrorism financing in Nigeria, must make that unit independent of any government body, their function is too delicate, to be placed under subjugation. Another missing decimal from the act, is specification of the need for all institutions and government bodies to collaborate heavily on the fight against finance of terrorism through money laundering. there is also a need to include what we might call an annual review of enforcement procedure, the provisions of a law are mere inks if the implementation is poor, there is need for all stake holders in the fight against financing of terrorism to meet annually to highlight their gains and tighten loop holes.

 

 

[1] Section 1 of the Act

[2] Section 2 (1) (2) and (3)

[3] Section 2 (4) and (5) of the Act as amended in 2012

[4] Section 3 as amended in 2012

[5] Section 5 of the Act

[6] Section 6 (1-6)

[7] Section 6 (7) and (8)

[8] Sections 7 and 8

[9] Section 9

[10] Section 6 (10)

[11] Section 11 as amended in 2012

[12] Section 13 (4)